Seeing more with the blind camera

Blind cameraBerlin-based artist Sascha Pohflepp’s Buttons is a camera that takes other peoples’ pictures:

“It is a camera that will capture a moment at the press of a button. However, unlike a conventional analog or digital camera, this one doesn’t have any optical parts […] The camera memorizes only the time and starts to continuously search on the net for other photos that have been taken in the very same moment.”

While the project is already 9 months old and has long since been featured in the online columns of our hip and connected friends at MAKE, Buttons demands all the additional attention we can give it here on the Radar.

This simple project is the prime example of how networked objects allow us to sample off eachothers experience, memory and ultimately senses. The backwardness of the interface is the twisted proof that our own experiences — even the physical — increasingly only gain true value when intertwined with the experiences of others.
The more personal sensors we add, the more we’ll each be a remix of the collective experience.

Simply brilliant. Makes my heartbeat spike.

[Via classy.dk]

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Thanks, Nikolaj. This is truly awesome. It is fabulous conceptual art — something that really makes us think. I imagine that with geolocation, you could potentially go one better. Imagine a camera that does take a picture, but also initiates a search for all other pictures taken at that same location (and optionally at the same time of day/year.) I’m with you, this is exciting!

  • http://www.imran.ali.name Imran Ali

    Hey Nikolaj – strangely I was just thinking of this project yesterday morning! When I first blogged it (more BSG podcasts comin’ down the pipe…), it actually got me thinking about future cameras as devices that capture context and the natural evolution of now obselete devices like cuecats and eMarkers

  • http://www.imran.ali.name Imran Ali

    Oops, URL pasting error!

    Hey Nikolaj – strangely I was just thinking of this project yesterday morning! When I first blogged it (http://imran.typepad.com/blog/2006/09/taking_a_moment.html), it actually got me thinking about future cameras as devices that capture context and the natural evolution of now obselete devices like cuecats and eMarkers

  • http://gpmb.wordpress.com Laura Athavale Fitton

    cool and obscure in that arty sort of way.

    but if it could tie to place too, then the practical uses are pretty outrageous — concert or other event footage, etc. hell, even crime investigation.

  • http://www.jacksblog.co.uk jack

    I didn’t really see the point of this at first, but if you tied geolocation into it, then things really do get interesting. Imagine if you go to your favourite bar and take pictures, you could go home and find all the pictures taken there. Although I guess for more popular locations search parameters would be a must have!

  • http://www.stapleton-gray.com Ross Stapleton-Gray

    Somewhat related, I’d had a thought, years ago, that restaurant tables ought to have a memory, so that you could basically temporally blog that physical space. Dine w/ (or w/o, you might want to filter!) everyone who’d ever dined there before/in the future.

  • http://www.stapleton-gray.com Ross Stapleton-Gray

    This is also related to some work Marc Davis and Nancy Van House were doing with cell phone cameras at UC Berkeley, where if you stood on a particular spot, you’d get information on all of the previous photos taken there, modulo GPS jitter and such, I imagine.